Pioneer of Aerodynamics

Trip Start Feb 17, 2012
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Trip End Apr 28, 2012


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Where I stayed
The Five Hotel Paris
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Sunday, April 22, 2012

Finally, the Paris of the France.

After visiting the Paris of the north (Tromso), Paris of the East (Prague), who cares where the south one is, it was great to finally arrive. I'd had high expectations for Paris, and thankfully it did not disappoint.
 
I was warned about the Parisian folk being snobby and uptight. I've been staying in the Latin Quarter, which is a pretty flash / posho and place to be seen neighbourhood and I haven't experienced any of that. A special mention must go to the girl at the pharmacie who went above and beyond the call of duty by assisting me apply band aids to some hellish looking blisters I picked up back in Prague.

Local's have been friendly, happy to have a chat and entertain my 5 basic lines of French - maybe they sense one of their own as they have embraced me. Walking around each day with my breadstick has gotten me a few nod's of acceptance too. No tour bus' around here with their 60 plus groups, waving flags and getting in the way.

Infact my first two days here I spent just wandering around Latin Quarter / St Germain taking it all in, sampling the food and booze. It wasn't until day 3 I started to tick of the big ticket tourist things, Musee Du Lourve, Tour Effiel, Arc de Triumph. Speaking of big ticket items how handy is the xxxxx xxxx?! Probably the most useful thing I've bought this whole trip. Pre-paid ticket to 70+ Paris attractions, thus skipping the A) line up to get in and B) ticket queues. Walking straight past the two hours plus to get into Le Lourve and Musee d'Orsay being the best examples. Being able to enter the same place as many times as you like. You can actually take your time and enjoy Le Lourve, by spending time in the lesser known wings, breaking it down into bite sized pieces over a few days and not spending all day in there or as the obnoxiously sized tour groups do and make a bee line for Mona Lisa. God, there are two other Da Vinci's right out front of the Mona Lisa room and they all just walk past. That damn book as alot to answer for. It was like the AAA pass from Wayne's World. 

Musee d'Orsay is quite a cool gallery, being built in an old train station. It only has levels 0,1,2 and 5 - and takes a good 10 mins to get your bearings. Levels -1,3 & 4 being sub levels. Your welcome for the tip. The Pompidou Centre is also another cool museum to visit, the building's design being inside out, also offer's nice views on a clear day. Weather has been random, 4 seasons in a day. I've since been advised that 3 days of sun in a row here is a heatwave. 
 
Les Catacombs are cool. Created in the 18th century to due overcrowding in the town's cemetery's it was decided to move Holding the bones of an estimated 6 million 'residents' right under the streets of Paris. Although the tour only shows a small section ( about 45 mins), the entire tunnel network exists under most of central Paris. The French Resistance used these tunnels to organise acts of sabotage against the Nazi Occupation.
 
Another tip, apply caution when visiting the Sacre Coeur. There is only one route in and every villain this side of the iron curtain seems to have congregated out front to form a gauntlet one must take. All trying to sell you crap, put crap on your wrist and claim you bought it, sign some stupid clipboard, or cause a distraction to try and snake your shit. Exercise caution.

On another note, how useless is the 500 Euro note ?! Other than drug / human trafficking and prostitution circles, it serves no purpose in a legitimate market. No one accepts it, they look at you like a lepper if when it comes out of the wallet (not limited to just France) and the banks charge you to change it to a smaller denomination. What are you doing with 500 Euro notes ? Never you mind.

I cannot throw the ball and catch the ball at the same time.
  
Sadly, this brings an end to the European leg of the journey (what there is more?). It's been a wild two months, too wild at times in fact - tears, trials and triumph yet sunny Tromso seems only yesterday.

Paris has been a real highlight, right through from the people I've come across, to the sights, to the food and booze. A fitting way to see off Europe (for now). To all those on here that I've met along the way, broken bread with, drank with, thanks for listening to my rants, ramblings, or just general conversation (waffle). I've met alot of coot cats, allies, villains, characters, etc. To all the losers I gave a fake email address to, you can pucker up and kiss me ass. Although you wont be able to read this, rendering this rant useless. Whatever.

Maryke and Aaron, apologies I couldn't make it up to the Hague - I will get there one day and take you up on that couch offer. Don't worry about that.
 
I'm looking forward to doing a "Royce Simmons" and have a beer with every one of you'se when I get home.

Although, not quite back to reality just yet...

My Review Of The Place I Stayed



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